Hi, I'm Mark. I'd like to tell you about myself, my life in college admission, and my advising style.
If my philosophy and approach to college admission counseling sound compelling to you, let's have a conversation.
As a Gen X-er, I have many successful friends who are realistic in their expectations, but find navigating the college search with their kids bewildering.
I can relate.
It all seems more complicated these days—and much of the industry offering advice surrounds itself with pretentious, ivy-covered marketing, schemes to "package" students to "get them in," or questionable promises of "dream school" results.
If you would like encouragement for your teenager's authentic growth, a guide to discovering the right environments to continue that growth, and a veteran voice to help keep your family's balance and sanity during the application process...
I can help.
The college admission process is still human, despite some of the messages you may hear in marketing and the media. That's why I love this work.
At the center of it are stories— the student’s story, the university’s story, and the supporting stories of the folks helping students apply and the ones reading their applications.
This is my story, and how it led me to my career supporting young people as they take first steps toward adulthood.
There's just no substitute for experience.
Having counseled hundreds of students with just about every interest, background, and aspiration under the sun, l've helped families navigate countless college admission scenarios.
Directing programs in some of the most respected schools in the US and international independent school worlds, I've been privileged to participate in the central conversations of the admission profession, while also training in educational best practices and adolescent wellness.
I have valuable first-hand knowledge of how schools work, and the nuances of high school curricula. I've overseen thousands of applications, gaining direct knowledge of how they are evaluated. Over these years, I've also had the chance to build a wide network of supportive colleagues.
All of those experiences together provide invaluable perspective for college counseling work.
Since 1998, the college admission world has been my home.
I’ve lived my entire life in academic settings. As a graduate student beginning a PhD in Spanish Literature and teaching at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill, I experienced firsthand the value of the undergraduate-focused preparation I had received getting my bachelor’s degree at Trinity University in San Antonio, where I later returned to begin an admission career on a break from graduate study.
I connected deeply with the admission profession, and I never looked back.
Over the next five years at Trinity, I had the opportunity to travel Asia, Europe and Latin America, laying the groundwork for Trinity’s growing international presence.
I enjoyed building relationships with students and their families around the world.
During my admission years, I developed relationships with many dynamic college counselors at independent schools.
Their mentorship inspired me to move from college admission to supporting students in the mission-based school setting.
In 2003 I started my school career as a college counselor and Spanish teacher at John Cooper School in Houston.
From 2004 to 2022, I was Director or
Co-Director of College Counseling at
The Bush School in Seattle
Colorado Academy in Denver
Shanghai American School in China
Menlo School in Silicon Valley